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Improvements in Stability Scores and Image Preference following Neurological Rehabilitation for a 6-year-old Male Patient with a Nonverbal Autism Spectrum Disorder



Derek Barton1, Emily R. Kalambaheti1*, Matthew M. Antonucci1, 2 and Megan Manno3

1 Plasticity Brain Centers, United States

2 Carrick Institute, United States

3 University of Central Florida, United States

Presentation: A 6-year-old male patient presented to Plasticity Brain Centers for evaluation and treatment of Nonverbal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Findings: Upon intake, the patient’s eye movements were assessed using the Right Eye Visual and Oculomotor Suite. During a 2-minute image preference video with geometric patterns and children on separate screens, he looked at children 18% of the time and patterns 82% of the time. A Comprehensive Assessment of Postural Systems (CAPS®) (Pagnacco 2014) was performed assessing balance and stability, on a solid and foamed surface, with eyes opened and closed. The average stability score was 0.97%. It should be noted that this stability score is not a true reflection of balance, but instead a reflection of his ability to follow directions and stand still without performing self-stimulating behaviors.

Methods: A 5-day, multi-modal program of neurological exercises was administered in 10 one-hour treatment sessions (Carrick 2017). Each session consisted of repetitive peripheral somatosensory stimuli, neuromuscular reeducation exercises (Antonucci 2016), vestibular rehabilitation exercises, orthoptic exercises, and off-vertical axis rotation (Gdowski 1999) utilizing a multi-axis rotational chair (MARC).

Outcome: Upon exit, the patients eye movements were assessed using the Right Eye Visual Oculomotor Suite. He looked at children 33% of the time and geometric patterns 67% of the time. Stability scores improved, with an average stability score of 39.876% (+4011.55%)

Conclusion: The authors suggest further investigation into multi-modal, intensive approaches to improve stability scores and image preference in patients with nonverbal ASD.

References:

  1. Antonucci MM, Link PE, Barton DA and Carrick FR (2016). Improvement in muscle tone, coordination, balance, ocular-motor function, and communication in a 6-year-old male with developmental delays after 5 days of ReceptorBased treatment. Front. Neurol. Conference Abstract: International Symposium on Clinical Neuroscience: Clinical Neuroscience for Optimization of Human Function. doi: 10.3389/conf.fneur.2016.59.00067 
  2. Carrick FR, Clark JF, Pagnacco G, Antonucci MM, Hankir A, Zaman R and Oggero E (2017) Head–Eye Vestibular Motion Therapy Affects the Mental and Physical Health of Severe Chronic Postconcussion Patients. Front. Neurol. 8:414. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2017.00414 
  3. Gdowski GT, McCrea RA. Integration of vestibular and head movement signals in the vestibular nuclei during whole-body rotation. J Neurophysiol (1999) 82:436–49 
  4. Pagnacco G, Carrick FR, Wright CH, Oggero E. In-situ verification of accuracy, precision and resolution of force and balance platforms. Biomed Sciences instrumentation (2014) 50:171-8

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